"Doing weddings" : couples' gender strategies in wedding preparation Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/z890rw378

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  • Men today are doing more household labor than in previous generations, but research suggests that gender still strongly influences household labor. A great deal of labor goes into creating family rituals, which may be central carriers for gender construction. Weddings, in particular, are rituals based on a gender dichotomy that influences the division of labor. This qualitative study examined how couples constructed and negotiated gender in wedding planning. Spouses in 21 first-time married couples were interviewed separately within one year of marrying. Questions focused on how weddings were planned and who was responsible for what tasks. Analysis, which was guided by the gender perspective (Thompson, 1993), revealed that gender typically was constructed in ways that replicated dominant gender norms, but some couples did show resistance to the social structure. At the aggregate level, brides tended to do more wedding work than grooms, but there was a range of gendered behavior at the dyad level. Similar to previous research, three couple types emerged. In traditional couples, brides planned their weddings with the help of other women, and brides and grooms were satisfied with this arrangement. In transitional couples, grooms helped out more, but brides still were responsible for most of the labor. These couples experienced occasional conflict when they tried to share work equally yet fell back into stereotypical roles of involved brides and distant grooms. Brides and grooms in egalitarian couples shared work more equally, and were more likely than the other two groups to question gendered traditions. Traditional and transitional couples used gender strategies that reproduced dominant gendered norms, whereas egalitarian couples did not use such strategies. Gender strategies revolved around: (a) the sociohistorical ideology that weddings are for women, (b) brides' presumed organizational skills, (c) grooms' peripheral involvement, (d) gendered employment and home environments, and (f) gender assessment between brides and grooms and from others. Overall, the dominance of the cultural script that weddings are for women influenced traditional and transitional couples' gender strategies and wedding work. Wedding planning was more likely to be shared when weddings were seen as for couples rather than for women.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2009-02-20T17:54:22Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Humble_Aine_Marie_2004.pdf: 844227 bytes, checksum: 9aa6c3e9aef36abb4d117abd37b5d7fe (MD5)

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